In All Out War, the excellent account of the EU referendum campaign by Tim Shipman, there are several occasions where Tim relays the idea that the Leave campaign were happy to see their £350m figure discussed on TV. The argument goes that every time it was discussed, even if the discussion was simply about how false the figure was, it reminded people of one of their key messages and, given they won, it is hard to disagree with their logic.Read More
The Belgian Prime Minister reported to the EU that the country cannot sign up to CETA, the trade deal between the EU and Canada that has been more than seven years in the making, because the region of Wallonia objected to it. I could bore you with the reasons behind their objections, but the practicalities are less important here than the consequences of it.Read More
Political campaigns are a dirty business. People will often stoop very low to win, and when the stakes are as high as becoming President of the United States the lengths people will go to are pretty extreme.Read More
In 1974, a Tokyo bookseller named Yoshimi Taniguchi arrived on Lubang Island in the Phillipines. Taniguchi, a former Major in the Japanese in WW2, was there to give a final order to one of his soldiers.
Hiroo Onoda, the soldier in question, had been on the island since 1944 and had been fighting a guerilla war since the war ended in 1945. Believing stories of Japanese surrender were little more than propaganda spread by the Americans, Onoda had continued to obey his orders, kept his rifle in pristine condition and refused to surrender until ordered to by his superior. He was determined to keep fighting the battle.Read More
There is a whole host of political analysis around at the moment, and I must admit that even as someone who lives and breathes politics I haven't been able to keep up. However, great events often lead to greater coverage and analysis and that is definitely the case here.
So if you're looking for some reading material this Sunday to try and make sense of everything that has happened, I'd suggest you start with the following:
- Tim Shipman for the Sunday Times on the Week of the Long Knives in the Tory Party.
- Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian reminds us we shouldn't forget what Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have done to the country.
- James Lyons, again for the Sunday Times, has the inside track on Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour coup.
- Stephen Bush in the New Statesman talks about how all of the above is providing a nice distraction for people who can't bear to think about how damaging Brexit will actually be.
I could have included a dozen other pieces in here, as there has been a plethora of superb analysis done in the last week.
Have a favourite piece that I missed? Add it in the comments below!
Today, we have an incredibly important decision to make. A decision that will affect the rest of our lives. A decision we will only get to make once. A decision that, if we get it wrong, could put our country back years, both economically and socially.
I'm going to be blunt. The Leave campaign don't deserve your vote today. They've run a vile campaign that has been built on lie after lie designed to con the British people.
Have the Remain campaign been innocent of scaremongering? No, of course not. Politics is a battle. It's an election campaign, not a chess match. And I've actually written before about why I've always been ok with campaigns using fear as a motivator. But Leave's crimes are far worse. There is a difference between focussing on the worst case scenario and resorting to outright lies. And let's be clear, Leave know that they are telling outright lies.
When they tell you that Turkey is about to join the EU and there is nothing anyone can do, despite the fact that every EU member state has a veto over their membership, they know they're lying.
When they tell you that they'll be able to plough more money into the NHS if we vote to leave, when the NHS Chief Executive says Brexit would be a disaster for the NHS, they know they're lying.
Finally, and this last one is really important, when they put out leaflets claiming that our new borders are with Syria and Iraq, and posters with pictures of refugees fleeing war saying that we're at 'Breaking Point' they do far worse than just lie. They stoke hate, and sow division and fear. They move from uttering lies that are misleading to ones that are downright dangerous.
Lies that seek to divide society.
Native and foreigner.
Friend and foe.
Us, and them.
It's become obligatory at this point to say that of course not everyone who votes to leave will be doing so because they're a closet racist or a xenophobe. There are plenty of defensible reasons to vote to leave the EU, and I know plenty of intelligent people voting to leave today who do so for reasons that have nothing to do with racism and xenophobia. I respectfully disagree with them.
But I can't respectfully disagree with the Leave campaign, because they led the campaign to leave the EU and have done so in a way that has encouraged division, hatred and fear.
That's the campaign they fought. Those are the messages the Leave campaign want you to endorse when you step into the ballot box today and put an x in their box today.
That's a campaign that doesn't deserve to win.
David and Victoria Beckham grabbed headlines this morning when they announced their support for the campaign to remain in Europe, but it's actually another celebrity who has produced one of the most well-reasoned arguments for supporting remain that I've seen all campaign.Read More
As a young professional in London, I'm part of a generation of people who rent because they can't afford to buy. When I explain to my Dad what I'm paying for the one-bedroom flat I share with my girlfriend, he gives me a look that basically says 'Are you absolutely insane?'Read More